How are you?

Many of my clients and community members have expressed anxiety around this time of year – let’s call it the revisiting of ghosts of Christmas past.

This is experienced as a fear that this year will be a repeat of previous years or dwell on negative past behaviors.

This season can bring up a lot of stress and anxiety, for any number of reasons… unpleasant or traumatizing memories resurface feelings of loss and grief, family issue, money troubles, travel. For many the holidays can be extremely sad or memory filled and can bring up mixed emotions that make us want to self-medicate, often starting a harmful behavior cycle that pushes us further and further away from the holiday cheer we long for.

The following strategies will help you feel secure in your ability to have a different outcome this year, so you can welcome a new season and new opportunities with open-heartedness instead of fear.

The first place to start is by setting clear intentions. I know, you hear me talk about intentions a lot – but with good reason! We often spend so much time thinking about what we DON’T want that we forget to spend time creating a clear vision of what we DO want.

Before any event or activity ask yourself: How do I want to feel?

Setting that intention is the soul fire that fuels our goals. Then, we can map out the behaviors that align with how we want to feel. E.g. If you don’t want to be in emotional upheaval on Christmas Day while meeting family members and talking about the year, then set the intention to drink less. Even if you feel that alcohol calms your nerves initially, you know it won’t fulfill the longer term goal of feeling good the next day, so there is an opportunity to set an intention to drink less. This way you’ll also wake up feeling better about youself the next morning too, paving the way for a better Next Christmas, instead of repeating that nasty cycle.

I asked my friend and colleague Dr. Perpetua Neo for specific tips on holiday stress and anxiety. Dr. Neo is a psychologist and coach who helps high-achieving woman liberate themselves from panic attacks, anxiety, and trauma, quickly and deeply.

Here are her recommendations:

Remember: You are human.

So when the ghosts of the past haunts, it’s okay. Don’t shove it away by pretending it doesn’t exist— even if you’re doing it ‘spiritually’ (e.g. using meditation, yoga)— because running away is running away. Instead, acknowledge your humanness with all the tenderness you can muster. If not for yourself or the younger version of you, channel the compassion for a little child or a little kitten.  Simply tell yourself, “Yes I’m feeling [EMOTION], and it’s okay. I make the choice to take care of myself right now”

Remember: Then is not now.

It’s often easy to be stuck in the past— our old patterns of thinking, acting and feeling are big muscles, and we need to be aware that they will play up. As compared to the new muscles of tenderness and kindness, which may be small right now. So we’ll want to play out old patterns— it’s not called the comfort zone for no reason. Sometimes if we’ve been traumatized, then the timekeeper in our brain meshes the past with the present, and we are in a literal time warp. To help us, we need the constant practice of being mindful. Meaning, being present in the now. So we help to regulate the timekeeper in our brains. Here’s the simplest mindfulness exercise that only takes 3 minutes of your time, that I teach all my clients.

Remember: watch what you do with your thoughts.

We’re not taught that just as our thoughts come from nowhere, they can disappear into that same nothingness too. Instead, too many of us grasp on to our thoughts for dear life, as though they are preordained or sacred. There is a saying, allow your thoughts to come and go, just don’t serve them tea (by Zen master Shunryu Suzuki). But, what a lot of us do instead is we lay out the red carpet for our thoughts and serve them champagne cocktails and dark chocolate truffles. Of course, our minds go awry!

So there you have it, my friend. I called in the big guns to help ensure you are as supported as possible this year.

Let this season be a powerful redo for you. It’s up to you to infuse new meaning into the season so don’t let another year go by passively waiting for things to get better.

With that, I wish you and yours the happiest and healthiest of holidays.



Last year I was featured in this great blog with 6 healthy mocktail recipes and tips for moderation. It’s information like this and planning your alternatives that will help make it possible to stop the downward spiral of previous holiday patterns.

Remember – this doesn’t have to be boring – and it shouldn’t!! Treat yourself and your body like a temple and you will feel so much more powerful and strong through this season.


Remember – you have support available to you. We have an active Facebook group and it’s been so beautiful to see all of the support everyone is offering each other during this time of year.

If you’d like access, please reply to this email and let me know!